Singapore; at first glance not an obvious place for a farmstay industry to develop, but around its rural edges the farmstay holiday is becoming a quite popular activity. This is despite the fact that visitors mightn’t even realize there is such a thing as a rural Singapore never mind a rural tourism industry. It is there though, though admittedly in quite a small way, and nothing of course like in its giant neighbour Malaysia. The main issue being that there really just aren’t enough good farmstays around yet.
You can find some countryside though; north of the city for example you can find yourself hiking through small rainforest nature reserves, or spotting tropical bird species at the Sungei Buloh wetland reserve near the famous Singapore Zoo with its popular night safari. You’ll find one or two farmstays in this area too.
Pulau Ubin in the far north east might in some ways be the best choice for a rural fix; it is an isolated island visitable by boat from Changi Village, and it retains a rustic, undeveloped, feel that has obviously been lost in most of the rest of Singapore; concrete buildings are rare as are paved roads.
It is home to only about a hundred people mainly living in traditional kampong houses and it is an important ecological zone with has a surprisingly rich amount of flora and fauna, most notably bird life, having been chosen by the Birdlife International Group as part of the Ubin–Khatib ‘Important Bird Area’ (IBA) for its range of species, some of which are endangered.
The green hills of the western Singapore too; the Southern Ridges and Mount Faber close to the centre at Tanjong Pagar have some good places for a leisurely rural walk with a few small sites along the way and you can also try getting away from it all at some of the quieter southern islands like St. John’s and Kusu/Turtle Island. Though not as quiet and rural as Pulau Ubin they are still peaceful enough to offer something of a detox from the city. The resort island of Sentosa is the biggest attraction in southern Singapore and though a naturally beautiful place it can be difficult to find respite from the hoards of tourists that happily flock here, especially at weekends.